Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing and the largest African airline, said it will start thrice weekly services to Istanbul with the latest B737-800 New Generation with Sky Interior, as of its winter schedule.
Istanbul is one of the largest European cities and Turkey’s historic, industrial and financial capital.
Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, said: “We are pleased to launch new services to Istanbul. Turkey being one of the fastest growing countries among the emerging economies, availability of seamless connectivity options would further catalyze the channeling of investors from both countries and make their business more facilitated.
“Moreover, our new flights to Istanbul will complement the daily services being provided by our Star Alliance partner Turkish Airlines. Our new flights will also enable our valued customers to make immediate connections to 52 African destinations with minimum hours connecting time in Addis Ababa,” the CEO said.
The airline which began the long journey with only five C47 aircraft bought from the US Airforce (surplus of the Second World War) today has a modern fleet of 76 aircraft with an average age of five, serve 92 international destinations (Istanbul being 93rd) on five continents and have a work force of 9,000 employees. With the 15 development roadmap—Vision 2025—the airline transformed itself into an aviation group consisting of seven profit units. The airline today transports over seven million passengers, 328,000 tons of cargo and generates over USD 2.4 billion in annual revenue.
In June 2014 the International Air Transport Association (IATA) declared that Ethiopian was the largest and most profitable airline in Africa.
The airline is expanding to new destinations. In the past year has introduced service to Tokyo, Manila, Dublin, Los Angeles, Cape Town, Durban, Gaborone, Yaoundé, and will soon launch thrice weekly flights to New York.